Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

EIJS Working Paper Series,
Stockholm School of Economics, The European Institute of Japanese Studies

No 139: From Natural Resources to High-Tech Production: The Evolution of Industrial Competitiveness in Sweden and Finland

Magnus Blomström () and Ari Kokko ()
Additional contact information
Magnus Blomström: European Institute of Japanese Studies, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, S-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Ari Kokko: European Institute of Japanese Studies, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, S-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: This paper analyzes the evolution of industrial competitiveness in Sweden and Finland in a long-term perspective. The first part looks at the foundations for industrial take-off in Sweden, with some focus on the development of institutions for the creation and dissemination of the skills and knowledge needed in the emerging industrial sector. The second part examines the development of the Swedish forest industry until the early 1990s, with particular emphasis on the factors allowing the industry to remain competitive for more than one century. The third and final part discusses the emergence of Nokia and Ericsson as market leaders in the high-tech mobile telecommunications industry. Summarizing the conclusions, we stress the role of efficient institutional solutions for the acquisition and development of technology, as well as the importance of an outward oriented trade regime. The experiences discussed in the report also suggest that public policy should provide an appropriate institutional framework to facilitate the sustainable use of land, raw materials, and other resources and promote learning and internationalization.

Keywords: industrialization; technical change; internationalization; forest industries; telecommunications

JEL-codes: F13; L63; L73; O14; O30

73 pages, January 1, 2002

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